Module B – Lessons 71 to 80

Click here for Lesson 71
Click here for Lesson 72
Click here for Lesson 73
Click here for Lesson 74
Click here for Lesson 75
Click here for Lesson 76
Click here for Lesson 77
Click here for Lesson 78
Click here for Lesson 79
Click here for Lesson 80


Lesson 71 – Inf./Deriv. Builder

NEW WORDS: Parker, buzzers, downstairs, hogging, homework, hopes, houseboat, houseboats, hunter, insides, jumper, keeping, kingfisher, kingfishers, layer, layers, leader, longed, longs, lords, lovely, loving, lucking, manly, marking, might’ve, movers, moving, naming, neater, neatest, nicer, nightlight, nightlights, older, oldest, outfoxed, outsides, oxen, parks, petting, picking, piglet, piglets, pigpen, pigpens, pinker, pinkest, pinkeye, pipes, playrooms, pleases, pleasing, plugging, prayed, praying, prays, pricking, prickly, rained, rainfall, ratted, ratting, redder, reddest, rider, rooms, rowboat, rowboats, rower, rowers, rowing, shuts, string’s

Pat longs to see Bob.

She shuts her eyes when she prays.

The hunter saw a fox.

He moves in funny ways.

Tom’s hogging all the cake!

Do your homework.

I was hoping I’d get that.

She’s got on a blue jumper.

He parks here each day.

Hand me one of those pens.

I like petting your cat.

She’s picking out a hat.

Keep on keeping on!

The cake has five layers.

Take me to your leader.

I don’t know why she lets him do that.

I got a letter from Jill.

That bad guy lies a lot.

Min lives in that house.

This string’s longer than that one.


The King shouted at his Lords.

She’s a loving cat.

Tom just keeps lucking out.

Ma makes great cakes.

Mark is a manly child.

You might’ve been bit!

We’re moving away from here.

I think I’ll be naming my dog “Tom.”

This room is neater than that one.

Min is nicer than Jin.

Which nights are good for you?

Have the buzzers gone off?

Mom, turn on my nightlight.

Are the playrooms neat?

Pat is older than Jill.

I’ll be praying for you.

Mom longed to be with Dad.

She hopes she can make it.

I’m jumping as high as I can.

Are the movers done with these boxes?


I think I kept that.

Can you layer my hair?

Don’t get in the longest line.

Kim is a lovely child.

I’m marking that down.

Who moved this box?

I have the neatest room in the house.

Where can I buy some nightlights?

Kim is the oldest girl here.

We prayed all night.

Bob outfoxed Tom.

Do you see those four oxen?

Is that Mark Parker?

They live on a houseboat.

It’ll be a rainy day!

That feels prickly!

Jill is a fast rower.

What a small piglet!

Oh no, I have pinkeye!

Please go outside.


Your room’s like a pigpen!

The pipes are stopped up.

It pleases me that you did that.

My shirt is pinker than yours.

Blow off the outsides of those boxes.

They’re playing downstairs.

I’m plugging in the light.

A kingfisher has a big head.

Something in my shirt is pricking me.

She puts her hat on like this.

It rained a lot.

Min runs fast.

Tom ratted on me!

Your car is redder than my dad’s.

She’s a good horse rider.

All the rooms are dark.

She is rowing the boat hard!

That’s an old rowboat!

The houseboats are neatly in a row.

Ma Pig has four piglets.


I don’t like going into pigpens.

I have the pinkest car around.

It has a pleasing look to it.

Come inside now.

Blow out the insides of those boxes.

We played upstairs.

Kingfishers are cool to see.

Mark prays each night.

I pricked my toe on a pin.

We get lots of rainfall here.

I’ll be ratting on Joe for doing that!

That’s the reddest bird I’ve seen.

The horse riders see a fox!

Those rowers are here when the sun comes up.

There are five rowboats you can pick from.


Lesson 72 – Poems and Rhymes
Beatrix Potter’s Favorite

(Many are ones that she wrote herself!)

NEW WORDS: Appley, Dapply, Tabitha, Tiggy, Twitchit, Winkle, Winkle’s, abode, afloat, amiable, apron’s, biscuits, blame, bleach, breakfasts, brushed, buys, buzzing, cheerful, civil, coats, dewy, dines, expressed, fears, footed, frills, gentle, grey, harmless, hatched, heather, herbivorous, herrings, horrible, ironing, kindly, lest, lice, mushrooms, oppressed, peat, peculiarly, raspberry, rusty, sheets, sighing, silently, slated, somebody’s, sporty, spotted, superior, terror, threads, tradesman’s, trots, tubs, weevil, whispering, who’ll, wore, wring

The Monster
There once was a large spotted weevil,
Whose looks were peculiarly evil.
But his looks were to blame,
He was perfectly tame,
Herbivorous, harmless, and civil!


The Mushrooms
Silent we seem,
We stand in a ring,
All day long,
And never do a thing!

But loud we get,
We wake up at night,
We hop and we dance,
In the merry moon-light!


The Amiable Guinea-Pig
There once was an amiable Guinea-pig,
Who brushed back his hair like a fancy wig.
He wore a sweet tie,
As blue as the sky,
And his whiskers and buttons were very big.


Pig Robinson Crusoe
Poor Pig Robinson Crusoe!
Oh, how in the world,
Could they do so?

They have set him afloat,
In a horrible boat,
Oh, poor Pig Robinson Crusoe!


Kitty Butcher
I’m a little “Kitty Butcher,”
With a sporty little cart.

My manners are superior,
And my apron’s clean and smart.

My Billy-goat can trot a race,
With any tradesman’s van.

Then kindly do not call me,
Common “Cat’s-meat Man!”


Busy Buzzing Bumble-Bee
Busy buzzing,
Fill up your honey-bags,
Bring them to me!

Humming and sighing,
With lazy wing,
Where are you flying?
What song do you sing?

Who’ll buy my honey-pots?
Buy them? Who’ll buy?
Sweet heather honey,
Come weigh them and try!

Honey-bag, honey-pot,
Home came she!
Nobody buys,
From a big Bumble Bee!


There Was An Old Snail With A Nest
There was an old snail with a nest,
Who with very great terror expressed,
Lest the wood-lice all ’round,
In the cracks under-ground,
Should eat up her eggs in that nest!

Her days and her nights were oppressed,
But soon all her fears were at rest,
For eleven young snails,
With extremely short tails,
Hatched out of the eggs in that nest.


Mrs. TiggyWinkle’s Ironing Song
Lily-white and clean, oh!
With little frills between, oh!
Smooth and hot,
Red rusty spot,
Never here be seen, oh!


When The Dew Falls Silently
When the dew falls silently,
And stars begin to twinkle,
Underneath the hollow tree,
Peeps poor Tiggy-Winkle.

Where the whispering waters pass,
Her little cans twinkle,
Up and down the dewy grass,
Trots poor Tiggy-Winkle.


Old Mother Goose And Her Flat-Footed Daughter
Old Mother Goose,
And her flat-footed daughter,
Live on a hill,
Near a fine spring of water.

Their greyslated cottage,
Is seen from the road,
Bench, tubs, doorway, chimney,
A cheerful abode.

The peat smoke puffs up,
From the fire as we pass,
See, the blankets and sheets,
Spread to bleach on the grass.

And when the sun shines,
And the west wind blows high,
They’ll wring out their washing,
And hang it to dry.


Appley Dapply
Appley Dapply,
A little brown mouse,
Goes to the cupboard,
In somebody’s house.

In somebody’s cupboard,
There’s everything nice,
Cake, cheese, jam, biscuits,
All charming for mice!

Appley Dapply,
Has little sharp eyes,
And Appley Dapply,
Is SO fond of pies!


Tabitha Twitchit
Tabitha Twitchit,
Is grown so fine,
She lies in bed,
Until half past nine.

She breakfasts on muffins,
And eggs and ham,
And dines on red-herrings,
And raspberry jam!!


Three Little Mice
Three little mice,
Sat down to spin.
Kitty passed by,
And she peeped in.

“What are you at,
My fine little men?”
“We’re making coats,
For gentle-men.”

“Shall I come in,
And cut off your threads?”
“Oh, no! Miss Kitty.
You’d bite off our heads!”

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 
(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view.)

Kate’s Book

Lesson 73 – Part One

NEW WORDS: Kate, Kate’s, Nan, Spanish, artist, batch, cheered, date, dates, expert, hikes, hundreds, minted, pointing, shimmer, sixteen, skipper, switched, yippee

A Letter from Kate
I’m Kate Skipper, and this is my book! This book tells what I did last summer when I was nine. My mom and dad took me to visit with my Nan. Nan is my mom’s mom. She is an artist, and she has a cabin out in the West.

At the start of my time with Nan, I was sad. It seemed like it would be a boring summer. But in the end, I had a lot of fun. I made this book to tell you all the fun stuff I did last summer. When I finished it, Nan made the art. You have the book we made in your hands. I hope you like it!


In the Cave
When I went to visit with Nan, I was sad. I missed Mom and Dad. But Nan cheered me up and made things fun.

Nan took me on hikes. The land I saw in the West was not at all like the land I am used to. Where I am from, things are green in the summer, and there are lots of trees. Out in the West, there are hills and red rocks, but not a lot of trees. In some spots, you can hike for a mile and not see one tree!

Once, Nan and I were on a hike, when it started to storm. Nan and I went into a cave so that we would not get wet.


As we were standing there, I saw something shimmer in the dark. “Nan,” I said, pointing at the spot, “what’s that?”

“Well,” said Nan, “let’s have a look.”

We looked and saw something stuck in a crack in the rock. I grabbed it. “It’s a coin!” I said.

“Well, I’ll be!” said Nan.

I said, “What sort of coin is it?”

Nan said, “I can’t tell. It looks like it could be made of silver.”

Then she said, “I have a pal, Jack, who is an expert on coins. We can bring it to him tomorrow, and he will tell us what sort of coin it is.” I dropped the coin in my pocket, and we went on with our hike.


The Coin Shop
Nan drove us to the coin shop. The man in the coin shop was a pal of hers. His name was Jack. “Jack,” Nan said, “this is Kate Skipper. I’m Kate’s nan. She’s out here for the summer. We went for a hike, and Kate found a coin in a cave.”

“Well, Miss Skipper,” Jack said, “let’s have a look at it!” I handed him the coin. Jack set it under a looking glass and switched on a lamp. “Let’s see,” he said. “It’s got some scratches on it. But I can tell that it’s a Spanish coin. It’s made of silver, too.”

“When was it made?” asked Nan.

“There’s no date on the coin,” said Jack. “But I’ll bet it dates back to the sixteenhundreds. The Spanish minted a big batch of coins like this one back then.”


“Goodness!” said Nan.

“Is that a long time back in the past?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Jack. “Let me run and fetch my book on Spanish coins.” When Jack came back, he said, “There’s just one thing I need you to tell me, Miss Skipper.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Are there a lot of coins like this one in that cave?”

“No,” I said, “we found just this one.”

“That’s a shame,” Jack said.

“Why?” I asked.

“If there were a lot of coins, you and your Nan would be rich!” said Jack. “I could sell a coin like this for three hundred bucks!”

“Three hundred bucks?” said Nan. Jack nodded.

Yippee!” I shouted. “I’m rich!”


Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 
(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view.)

Kate’s Book

Lesson 74 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Bart, Jack’s, Nan’s, badlands, camping, campsite, charged, crime, drawn, dresser, excuse, farming, farmland, gents, granddad, lanterns, legend, munched, offer, offered, outlaw, outlaws, planes, robbed, robber, robbers, robbing, shaped, shared, stagecoach, strongbox, tents, theft, unpack

You Never Can Tell
Jack said that he could sell the coin that I found for three hundred bucks. But I kept it and took it back to Nan’s cabin. We got a snack from the kitchen and then started to chat.

“Can I see the coin?” Nan asked. I stretched out my arm and gave it to her. “If this coin had lips,” Nan said, “what would it tell us? Would it tell us who left it in that cave, and why he or she was there? What magic tale could it tell us?”

“I wish it would,” I said. “What is the legend of this coin?

I stared at the coin for a bit. “Could it be that a robber hid it there?” I asked. “Did they have robbers back then?”

“You bet they did,” said Nan. “But why would the robber hide just one coin? It seems like he would hide a large batch of coins.”

“Perhaps he did not have a large batch,” I said. “Perhaps this was all he stole.”


“If that’s all he stole,” said Nan, “then he was not such a good robber!”

“Nan,” I said, “there’s no such thing as a good robber!” Nan smiled and nodded.

After a bit I said, “If this coin costs three hundred bucks, a robber would feel like he had to hide it.”

“Well,” Nan said . “Spanish coins like this one are rare, so Jack can sell them for a lot of cash. But back when this coin was made, it was not rare. There were a lot of coins just like this one. Back then, this coin was sort of like a dime.”

I took a dime out of my pocket and said, “So if I keep this dime for a long time, until it gets rare, and there are not a lot of them left, will it be a three hundred buck dime?”

“It could happen,” said Nan. “You never can tell!”


The Offer
I was sitting in the kitchen, scratching a large bug bite on my leg, when Nan came in. “I just spoke with Jack,” she said. “He made us an offer.”

“What sort of offer?”

“He offered to take us camping with him and Max.”

“Who is Max?

“Max is nine, like you. Jack is his granddad.”

“What would we do?” I asked.

“Well, we would hike, look at rocks, cook lunch and dinner outside, look at the stars, and sleep in a tent.”

“Gee,” I said, “that sounds like fun! When can we start?”

“Tomorrow morning!” Nan said.


The Campsite
Jack came and picked us up in his truck. We drove to a campsite in the Badlands. “Nan,” I said, “what’s up with that name — the Badlands?”

“Well,” said Nan, “legend has it that a long time back, farmers came out here looking for farmland. When they saw all of the rocks and sand and stone, they said, ‘This is bad land! We can’t plant crops here!’ And the name Badlands just sort of stuck.”

“It’s bad land for farming,” said Jack. “But it’s good land for camping!”

When we got to the campsite, we had to unpack sleeping bags, tents, lanterns, matches, and lots of food. We lugged it all to the campsite. Jack chose a spot to set up camp. Max and I helped set up the tents. It took us a long time. For dinner, we had hot dogs. We stuck them on sticks and held them in the fire. My hot dog got all black because I left it in there too long. Max gave me one of his. That was when I said to myself, “Max is OK!”


Jack’s Tale
After dinner, we munched on some ginger snaps. Then Jack shared an outlaw tale. “This happened out here in the West a long time back,” said Jack, “in an age when there were no cars and no planes. Back then, if you had to send a letter, you sent it by stagecoach. The stagecoach was sort of like a car, but it was drawn by horses. There was a place where men could sit inside. But the man who drove the stagecoach sat outside, up on top.”

“The man who drove the stagecoach kept the strongbox next to him. The strongbox was a locked box where he kept the cash. Sometimes outlaws would rob the stagecoach. Those outlaws were bad men. But there was one who some said was a bit better than the rest. His name was Bart.”

“Bart was a sharp dresser. He did his robbing in a jacket and a black top hat. He had the best manners you ever saw. When he robbed, he did not yell and shout at the men he was robbing. Not Bart! He tipped his hat.”


“Then he said, ‘Excuse me, gents. Would you be so fine as to pass down the strongbox with the cash in it?’”

“No!” said Nan.

“Yes!” said Jack. “It’s not just a legend. It’s a fact. You can look it up!”

“Did they catch him?” Max asked.

“Nope,” said Jack, “he came back and robbed the stagecoach lots of times.”

“Did they ever catch him?” I asked.

“Yes, after a long hunt, they nabbed him. They charged him with theft, and locked him up for a long time. He did his time. Then they let him back out.”

“Then what happened?” I asked.

Jack said, “Bart shaped up in the end. When they let him out, he said he was finished with crime.”

“That’s cool!” said Max.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 
(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view.)

Kate’s Book

Lesson 75 – Part Three 

NEW WORDS: Fitch, betting, biggest, charge, clatter, coolest, extinct, flipped, fork, hoisted, hugged, jeepers, lantern, larger, preserved, raccoons, reptile, scram, tests, wiped

The Visit
After telling us the tale, Jack said, “It’s time to pack up the food.” We stuffed the food into a large pack with a rope on it. Jack tossed the rope up into a tree and hoisted the food pack up so that it was hanging ten feet off of the ground.

“Paw-paw,” said Max, “why do we have to keep the food up in the tree?”

“Because it will keep the food safe from foxes and raccoons that would like to snack on it,” Jack said. After that, we crawled into the tents, flipped off our lanterns, and went to sleep. Nan and I slept well, until a loud clatter outside woke us up.

“What was that?” I asked.


“I can’t tell,” said Nan, as she hugged me close to her.

Jack ran outside with his lantern and yelled, “Get out of here! Scram! Get lost!” When we went out, we saw Jack and Max standing there. Jack had his lantern.

“Jack,” Nan asked, “who came to visit?”

“I did not see it,” said Jack, “but I’m betting it was a fox who was looking for some scraps of food . He bumped into the pots and pans. The clatter of the pots and pans must have scared him off.”

“Is that why we hoisted the food pack up in the tree?” Max asked.

“That’s why!” said Jack.


The Hike
The next morning, we went on a hike. After a bit, we stopped for lunch. When Max finished his lunch, he asked, “Can Kate and I look for rocks?”

Jack said, “OK.”

“Kate,” Max said to me, “bring your fork. We can use it to dig up rocks.”

I grabbed my fork, and we went off to look for rocks. Max pointed at a bump on the side of a cliff and said, “Let’s dig that rock out!”

The rock did not look all that large. But when we started digging, we soon saw that it was larger than it had seemed. After a bit, Max said, “Gee! It must be two feet long! We need to keep scratching in order to carve it out of the side of the cliff.”


We went on scratching with our forks. “Let’s tug on it!” Max said. “I bet we can get it out by ourselves.” We grabbed and tugged it. It popped out. But so did a big cloud of sand and dust. Max and I fell down. Once the dust and sand had drifted off, I saw Max standing there with the thing in his hand. “It’s not a rock!” he yelled. “It’s a bone!” It was the biggest bone I had ever seen. It was three feet long!

Jack and Nan came running. “Goodness!” said Nan. “That is one large bone! Where did you get it?” Max pointed to the spot where we found it.

Jack set the bone on the ground. Then he took a picture of the bone and said, “We need to get an expert to look at this bone and tell us what sort of bone it is.”


The Bone Man
The next morning, Jack said, “I just had a chat with a man from Western State College. His name is Ron Fitch, and he is an expert on bones. He has written lots of books. If we bring him the bone, he can tell us what sort of bone it is.”

“He’s a bone man?” asked Max.

“Yep,” said Jack.

We got into the truck. Jack said that I was in charge of the bone. I wrapped it up and set it on my lap. When we got to the college, we gave the bone man the bone. When he saw it, he broke into a big grin. The bone man bent down and said, “I could be wrong, but it looks like you’ve found something big here! I have to do some tests, but I’ll bet this is a bone of a T. Rex.”


“Sweet!” yelled Max.

“What’s a T. Rex?” I asked.

Max looked at me like I was from Mars. “Kate!” he said, “T. Rex is like the coolest, biggest reptile of all time!”

The bone man went and got a book. He pointed to a large picture of a T. Rex. “Jeepers,” I said, “he is big! Why have I never seen a T. Rex like this at the zoo?”

The bone man smiled. So did Nan and Jack. “You can’t see a T. Rex at the zoo,” the bone man said. “They were all wiped out a long time back in the past. The T. Rex is extinct. All that’s left of them today are bones preserved in the ground. And there are not a lot of bones. That’s why it’s such a cool thing that you found this bone preserved in the side of the cliff!”

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 
(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view.)

Kate’s Book

Lesson 76 – Part Four 

NEW WORDS: Fletcher, Roger, brushes, bummer, charging, cracking, dentists, diggers, expose, helpers, muttered, plaster, progress, scoop, scraped, shoot, solved, sticking, thrilled, wrap, wreck, wrist

Two Good Things and One Bad Thing
The next week, Nan said, “I just spoke with Ron Fitch, the bone man. I’ve got three things to tell you. Two of them are good things that you will like. One is a bad thing that you will not like.”

“Tell me one of the good things,” I said.

“Mister Fitch got the tests back. The bone that you and Max found is a T. Rex bone!”

“Yippee!” I shouted. “I am glad that is solved. Max will be so thrilled that he has a T. Rex bone!”

“Well,” said Nan, “that brings me to the bad thing.”

“What is it?” I asked, scratching my wrist. “The bad thing is that you and Max will not get to keep the bone for yourselves.”

“Why not? Did we do something wrong?”


“Well,” Nan said, “it’s because you found the bone in a State Park. There is a law that says that you can’t dig up bones in state parks and keep them for yourself.”

Bummer!” I said. “So who gets to keep it?”

“The state. Mister Fitch and his helpers will keep the bone and dig up the rest of the bones, too. And that brings me to the last thing.”

“This is a good thing?”


“Tell me!”

“They would like you and Max to visit them when they are digging up the bones. And they would like the two of you to pick out a name for the T. Rex that you found.”

“Cool!” I said.


The Big Dig
When we went back to the cliff, the bone man was there with some helpers. They had scraped the side of the cliff to expose a lot of the T.Rex. “So, will you dig out all of the bones here on site?” asked Nan.

“No,” said the bone man, “the next step will be to carve this cliff into large blocks of rock. Then we will wrap the blocks up in plaster. The plaster will keep the bones from cracking. Then we will use a large crane to set the blocks on trucks. Then the trucks will take them to my lab. Once the blocks are there, we will start digging the bones out of the blocks.”

“What sort of tools do you use for that?” asked Nan.

“We use tools a lot like the ones dentists use on teeth — brushes and sharp picks.”

“Kate and I used forks!” said Max.


“How long will it take to carve all of the bones out of the rocks?” Jack asked.

“Well,” said the bone man, “we’ve got a lot to do. It will take some time, because we have to be careful not to wreck the bones.”

“Will you be finished by the end of the summer?” I asked.

“No,” said the bone man. “You and Max will have to visit next summer, and perhaps the summer after that. Then we can catch up on our digging progress!”

“So,” said the bone man, “have you picked out a name for this T. Rex?”

“Yes, I’ve picked one,” I said. All of the diggers stopped digging and looked at me. I said, “This T. Rex will be named Max, or if you like, T. Max!” All of the men cheered. Max smiled.


The Scoop
After we named the T. Rex, some men came charging up to us. “Can we shoot some film of you for TV?” one of them asked. “It would be a big scoop for us.” Nan and Jack said it was OK.

The men set up a bunch of stuff to shoot the film. Then one of them started counting down from ten. He said, “Three, two, one!” Then he pointed at us. The TV man spoke into a mike. He said, “This is Roger Fletcher. I’m standing here in the Badlands, where two children have found the bones of a T. Rex.”

The man bent down to Max and stuck the mike under his nose. He said, “What’s your name?”

Max looked like he was scared of the mike. He jumped back a bit. Then he muttered, “I’m Max.”


“And you?”

I said, “I’m Kate.” Then I waved.

“Max,” said the man, “where did you spot the bone?”

Max said, “It was sticking out of the side of a cliff.”

“Kate, could you tell it was a bone when you saw it?”

“No,” I said, “it looked like a rock.”

“What did you use to dig it out?”

“We used our forks!” said Max.

“Forks!” said the man. “That’s cool. Could I get a close-up of the two of you with your forks?” Someone ran and got us two forks. We held them up and smiled until the man said, “Cut!” And that was the end of that.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 
(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view.)

Kate’s Book

Lesson 77 – Part Five

NEW WORDS: bender, goof, printer, publish, speller, spelling, staff, wishes     

We Are TV Stars
We drove back to Nan’s cabin and got there just in time to see ourselves on TV. The TV man said, “This is Roger Fletcher. I’m standing here in the Badlands, where two children have found the bones of a T. Rex.”

Then Max and I saw ourselves on TV. “Woo-hoo!” I shouted. “We are TV stars!” Then came the part where the TV man asked Max his name, and Max looked like he was scared of the mike.

“Max, you goof!” I said. “Why did you jump back like that?” Max just shrugged.

Next, the TV man asked me my name. I said, “I’m Kate.” Then I waved.

“Max,” said the TV man, “where did you spot the bone?”

Max said, “It was sticking out of the side of a cliff.”

“What did you use to dig it out?”

“We used our forks!” said Max. Then we saw the close-up of Max and me with our forks.

“So there you have it!” said the TV man. “I’m Roger Fletcher, with a tale of two children, two forks, and one large T. Rex!”


Nan’s Book
Max and I and the T. Rex were on TV six times. I was glad when it came to an end. After you smile and wave a fork six times, it gets to be less fun. One morning, Nan handed me a book and said, “Let’s drive to the book shop.”

“Nan,” I said, “why do you need to get a book at the book shop when you have this one?”

“I just finished that one,” Nan said. “I liked it a lot. And it just so happens that the man who wrote it will be at the book shop today. I’d like to meet him.” In the car, I looked at the book. It said “Dust Up, by Stan Bender.”

“What sort of book is this?” I asked.

“It’s a western,” said Nan.

“What’s a western?”


“It’s a book set out here in the West.”

“Is there an outlaw in the book like Bart?”

“There’s an outlaw,” said Nan, “but he’s not like Bart.”

“Why not?”

“He has bad manners!” said Nan.

I looked at the last page and saw the page number: 305. “Yikes!” I said. “This is a long book!”

“It is,” said Nan. “But it felt short to me because I liked it so much. I was sad when I got to the end!” I started to look inside the book, but just then Nan said, “Here we are!”


The Book Shop
In the book shop, there was a big stack of books. Next to the books sat Stan Bender, the man who wrote the books. He had a pen in his hand, and a big smile on his lips. “You’d smile, too, if your book was selling as well as his is!” Nan said.

Nan and I went and stood in line to meet Stan Bender. Nan shook hands with him and said, “I’ve got twelve of your books. This one was your best book yet!”

The man smiled and said, “That’s sweet of you! I hope you will pick up my next one, too!”

“I will!” said Nan.

Then the man wrote, “Best wishes, Stan Bender,” in Nan’s book.

“Mister Bender,” I asked, “how hard was it to write that book?”


“Well,” he said, “this one was not all that hard. The last one I did was a lot harder.”

As we got back in the car, I said, “Nan, I’d like to write a book.”

“What sort of book would it be?” Nan asked. “Well,” I said, “Max and I found the T. Rex.”

“Yes, you did,” said Nan.

“And you and I found that coin.”

“Yes,” said Nan.

“And we are out here in the West.”


“So it could be a bones and coins and western sort of book.”

“Why not?” said Nan. “If you write it, I will make the pictures.”

I said, “Shake on it!” Then we shook hands.


We Make a Book
When we got back to Nan’s, I started to write the book. I wrote down all of the cool stuff that happened to me out West. The hardest part was getting started. Once I got started, it went fast. Nan helped me pick out good words. Sometimes when you write, you have to write things two or three times to get all of the best words, and get them in the best order.

Max helped me out, too. He said, “I can help you with spelling. I am the best speller in my class.” Max looked at what I had written and fixed a lot of spelling mistakes that I had made. When I had written the words, Nan got out her brush and started to make the art. It took her a long time. She sent the pictures to me three weeks after I went home.

My dad took me and my book to a pal of his, to see if he would publish the book. The man looked at it and said, “This is well-written! Children out there will like this book. I’d like to print it!”

I was so glad, I shouted, “Yippee!” The man and his staff got the book all set to publish. Then they sent it to a printer.

Stories Misc

The Early Adventures of Redd, the Eventual Downtown Cat   

Lesson 78 – Part One

NEW WORDS: Egypt, Mick, Redd, Redd’s, adventures, advice, altercation, amusing, apex, beaten, chatted, chestnut, classes, companion, conjures, downtown, dwelling, enjoyed, eventual, exhibit, fantastic, feline, growth, ideal, loads, math, meowing, mindset, nearby, numbers, overflowing, owner, quench, rainforest, removing, resides, risen, rumors, simply, smelly, soggy, spend, superb, tabby, teamwork, thirst, tummies, uber, ugly, urban, weighs

Redd is from the big city. His urban dwelling is downtown. That’s not where he started his life! But that’s where his life is now. And he loves being there!

He resides at Main and Market streets. That’s in Louisville, Kentucky. (That’s the home of the Kentucky Derby!) He loves fish. Any kind of fish! But he hates one thing about them. Removing the bones is a real pain.

Redd is a tabby with dark chestnut fur. He’s quite big. He weighs twelve pounds! And he’s five years old.

He likes to play. He finds amusing things in trash cans. He conjures up cool games with them.

Redd has loads of friends. His best buddy is his brother. He’s named “Tex.” Tex is older. And we hate to tell you this. But Tex is a bit “beaten up.”

It happened two years ago. He got in an altercation with a dog. He thinks the dog was a boxer. Poor Tex lost one eye. So, he is pretty ugly to look at. The eye has become white. And it’s also half-closed.


But Tex is a joyful cat. He doesn’t let his bad eye get him down. He tells great jokes and riddles. He makes folks laugh. He has a growth mindset!

Another companion is Mick. This feline is uber-smart. When Redd needs help, he runs to see Mick. Mick gives superb advice. And he’s a fantastic teacher.

How does Mick know so much? It’s because he once lived in a school. He liked to sit in the classes with the children! He liked math the best. He can now add numbers very well. He keeps a count of all the mice he has chased in the last five years. He thinks that he’s run after close to fifty of them!

Redd’s friends are his family. Most days, they spend a bunch of time together. And they exhibit great teamwork when hunting for food.

Last night was an ideal example. They waited at the back of a store. The owner came out the back door. He had to throw out some fish. They were getting a bit old for people to eat them. But they were still fine for cats! They like smelly fish!


All the friends enjoyed this feast. They went home with full tummies. Redd ate a whole trout! It was one of his best meals ever. “Yummy!” he kept meowing.

The next morning came. The sun had risen. And it was a fine day. Redd had some milk to drink. (A nice lady puts a bowl out for him each day.) He sat down to clean his fur. Mick came over. They both said “hi.” They gave each other a high-five. They chatted for a while. What would they accomplish during the day?

Mick had heard rumors about Redd’s first year of life. It wasn’t like most cats’ first year! He asked Redd to tell him that story. Redd was pleased to say, “yes.”

Redd the cat was born in a rainforest! He did not like all the rain. But that’s just the way it was. Water was all around you. 

Water was at the apex of the trees. The ground was always soggy. The lake near him was always full. The nearby river was nearly overflowing. And that was a big river. As big as the Nile, in Egypt!  

It was simply wet all year long. There was one good thing about that. Redd could always quench his thirst. Water was easy to find!

Stories Misc

The Early Adventures of Redd, the Eventual Downtown Cat    

Lesson 79 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: arrive, awaiting, bachelor’s, bigwig, bizarre, buddies, camps, choices, conversation, creature, curious, cushy, experiences, gushed, gym, haul, honored, humorous, instance, intriguing, invited, journey, lasted, leathery, lounge, marvelous, okay, painted, polite, puked, responded, ribbit, soundly, surprising, toucan, traveled, trek, tunes, twice, views, violet, yowled

Redd did not dwell in a house there. He lived in the body of a big tree! It was cooler in there. The room was big and clean. And he liked to lounge about and hear the rain fall. 

He had modern art on the walls. So, the room was interesting. He had a big window, too. He had good views of the moon. He slept soundly in his cushy bed each night.

Redd had lots of buddies there, too. Bob the Toucan visited each Friday. He’d arrive in the morning. He’d sing great music to Redd. Redd liked to dance to the tunes!

Bob brought a new food for Redd last Friday. It was a prickly pear. Redd took a big bite. Then he spit it out! “Bob, that’s too sour and tart! That’s not a cat-friendly food!”

Redd did not understand how birds ate what they did! Redd had some bird-seed once. Later that day, he got REALLY sick. He puked it all up! He said, “Bob, I’m going to stick to fish, thank you!”


One week, Redd traveled to meet a friend of Bob’s. He was named John. There were no trains in the rainforest. So, it was a long walk. The trip lasted three days! But it was worth it. He had a marvelous time with John the Bear!

John’s home was in a cave. He had set it up well. It was a great bachelor’s pad! It had a T.V. and a small gym. There were colorful pictures on the walls. And there was a wonderful smell of honey in the air!

John was quite humorous. He liked “human food.” So, he would watch their camps. He’d sneak in while the people were out walking. He’d bring back quite a haul! So, Redd got to try more new foods!

There were many new choices. Redd tried cookies, eggs, corn, and milk. 

He jumped for joy after he tried the milk. It was as good as fish! He did have to use a bowl to drink it out of. But that was okay. He said, “Please John. May I have some more? Thank you very much!”


Redd was happy that week-end. He knew that he’d made a new friend. John said, “why don’t you come to see me every three months?”

Redd didn’t think twice. “Yes!” he yowled. They said, “good bye.” Redd started back on his long trek home.

The second day of his journey back was surprising. He heard a really weird noise. It was about noon. He’d never heard that noise! He had to know what it was!

He followed the sound. Soon, he came to a door. It was another tree home. It was much like his own. But the door was painted bright violet. That was bold! A sign said, “Fred the Frog.”

Remember, Redd was still really young. He had many new experiences awaiting him. For instance, he did not yet know what “Frog” meant!

All at once, the door flew open. Out walked an old creature. He had dark green, leathery skin.


Redd began a conversation. “Good day, sir. I heard a bizarre sound. Did you make that intriguing noise?”

Fred said, “You mean this one?” Then he opened his mouth wide. Out came a deep, loud, “RIBBIT!”

Redd screeched, “That’s it! That is WAY COOL! I can’t make that kind of noise.”

Fred responded. “Why, thank you. I like to make extremely loud frog noises. That’s to keep the other frogs around here on alert. I make sure they know that I’M the king. And they are NOT!”

Redd gushed. “Wow! I am so honored to meet you. You must be quite a bigwig! My name is Redd.”

They both talked a while. Redd told Fred that he’d never seen a frog. Fred told Redd that he’d never seen a cat. Fred was very polite. But more than that, he was curious about cats. He invited Redd to spend two nights with him. Redd was about to make another dear friend!


Lesson 80 – Space Hawk: Story Keeper

NEW WORDS: Dr., amounts, apartment, bead, building, bungalow, cabin, chimes, condo, cottage, curled, dismal, dorm, dormitory, dreadful, finished, fixes, gobs, habitation, household, instrument, keeper, languages, least, lodging, longest, meaning, mega, messes, miserable, misses, organ, palace, pathetic, piles, pitiful, questioned, residence, servings, share, shelter, stories, stream, synonyms, ton, tons, tune, wilder, wretched, writes

Dr. Gregg Brown is in our crew. He’s a word nut. And a great guy! Kind. Caring. Friendly. Funny. We love “Doc Syn.”

Why that name? “Doc Syn?” He’s smart with languages. SCARY smart! We need his help! All the time. Some times, our “TALKER” messes up with Alien words. He fixes that. At least most times.

He also writes our stories. He writes better than we can. His stories show what we are learning! He never misses a thing. He uses cool words. And his tales are fun to read.

So. Here’s why he’s “Doc Syn.” He says a word. Then he yells out a bunch more. “Synonyms!” More words that mean the same as the first word. Or close in meaning. “Syn” is short for “synonyms.”


The first time I heard him, it was crazy! World K666. He said, “These people eat a TON of food. Each day! TONS! LOTS! PILES! GOBS! HUGE AMOUNTS! LARGE SERVINGS! MEGA-POUNDS! MOUNTAINS! BOAT LOADS!”


His brain is always going. Words just fly out. He can’t help it. I questioned him. “Doc Syn. Why do you do that?”

His mouth curled into a wide grin. “Well. I love words. I’m a nut case. And English has so many choices!”

I asked, “What is your longest stream?”

His smile got bigger. “This happens here and there. I shout out more than twenty synonyms! In a row!”


“No way!” I said. “Is it hard?”

He said, “No! Not at all. Not for me. Look! Each person has gifts. One. Two. Three. Maybe more. Words are my gift. That’s just me! ‘Doc Syn’ fits my gifts. I know YOUR gift, Chuck. Music. Right?”

I agreed. He kept on. “Poor me. I can’t keep a tune. I can’t play an instrument. SAD! SORRY! PITIFUL! DREADFUL! DISMAL! PATHETIC! MISERABLE! WRETCHED! I stink at music!” I laughed loudly. “Music is not my gift. But you pick up even Alien music fast. Good for you!”

I said, “Thanks Doc. That means a lot. And back at you! I learn so many new words from YOU! Keep it up!”

Doc said, “That’s a sure thing. I can’t help it.”

I finished our talk. “Doc. You put me in a music mood. I’ll go practice. Hmm. The colored-rocks-organ from C121? Or the crystal-beadchimes from P007?”

Click on this link to move forward to Module B, Lessons 81 – 90



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